FUNDRAISING | 5 Tips to Acquire More Monthly Donors

publication date: Feb 23, 2022
author/source: Philip Manzano

Having a steady stream of monthly donations is an essential part of any charity's fundraising strategy. Monthly donors are more likely to remain loyal to your organization, provide consistent support over time, and be responsive to requests for additional funds when needed.

However, continually acquiring new monthly donors can be a challenge. So how do you acquire more monthly donors? Here are 5 tips that will help you do just that.

1) Boost Monthly Donors with Email
The most cost-effective and easiest approach to communicate with potential monthly gift donors is through personalized emails to one-time donors. They have already given, they believe in your mission, and they've established an online connection with you.

Before you draft an email appeal, you should have a clear idea of who you’re sending emails to, and how to segment your donors in order to personalize your emails. You should tailor your email messages to specific segments of people on your list.

There are many ways to segment your subscribers (E.g. by age group, gift size, giving timelines, or one-time vs. long-term supporters, etc.). You can further segment your list by people who have donated to a specific project and then send them email updates about the project’s progress and the impact of their monthly donations.

The more relevant the email content is to the reader, the more engaged they will be, and the better results you will see from your emailing efforts.

2) Boost Monthly Donors with Donation Forms
Change your messaging and contribution forms to include monthly giving, informing donors that monthly gifts are a popular and often appreciated method of giving.

  • When creating your donation forms, make monthly donations the first option listed.
  • Make sure your communications include a strong call to action that helps your donor understand the impact of their monthly donations. Remember, this is part of the “product” you’re “selling.” How many school lunches does their $25 a month buy? How much land does their $25 a month protect? Get concrete, and show their impact immediately!
  • Suggest some donation amounts, with the option for the donor to enter their own amount. Your giving levels will be dependent on your organization – if initial first-time gifts are smaller, you will want to set smaller monthly giving levels.If first-time gifts are larger, you may want to consider larger.

Generally, the response rate does go up as the gift amount goes down. You really want to capture as many monthly donors as possible, even in small amounts. There’s always room to upgrade later.

3) Boost Monthly Donors with Your “Ways to Give” Landing Page

Chances are you already have a “donate now,” “support us,” or “ways to give” page on your website. Many people choose to provide recurring donations, often through programs such as food banks and clothing drives. One-time gifts, volunteer opportunities, contributions of securities, and collection drives are all examples of typical ways to give. Make sure monthly giving is offered here as a choice.

  • Make sure you’ve listed the ways a donor can support your organization as clearly as possible – don’t confuse your donors, or they won’t donate.
  • If possible, try testing the use of lightboxes that pop up on your website asking visitors to consider making a monthly gift.

4) Boost Monthly Donors with Social Media
You may use the various social media platforms you participate in to publicize your monthly giving effort on a regular basis.

Take this chance to discuss the program your charity is proud of, how far you've come, and what a difference your donors have made. Here are a few things you can post about to boost monthly donations:

  1. Your nonprofit's work on a monthly basis. This can include press clippings, photos of the people your monthly donors support, and more.
  2. Highlight impact stories your monthly donors can feel good about, reiterating the importance of their regular donation.
  3. The impact of each month's gift to your organization - whether it is financial or another type of capacity building that your organization provides. 
  4. Thank your donors for their gifts on a monthly basis! This can include photos of the people your monthly donors are supporting, personal stories about how they came to be involved with your nonprofit, and more. Use this opportunity to thank them on an individualized level rather than sending out a blanket email on Thanksgiving or at the end of the year.
  5. Any other information that you know will be valuable for your donors to hear about, whether it is a news article, video clip, photo gallery, a new initiative or any other engaging content that you know your donors want to see and read about.
  6. When you post about your monthly donation program, make sure you tag the donor who have made the gift or reach out and tell them in advance what are planning to post so they can share your content on their own social media platforms for greater exposure. This will not only better inform potential donors about your program but also help engage current donors.

5) Boost Monthly Donors with Special Incentives
If you're just getting started with a monthly giving initiative or want to take it to the next level, consider offering your contributors some intriguing and inventive perks to get them interested.

  • Contest or Giveaway – Do you have a special event or interesting prize that you could give away? If you're initiating a monthly giving program, consider setting up a draw for contributors who sign up.
  • Sponsorships or Matching Partners – If you have a connection with a business partner, they might consider matching monthly contributions for a set length of time. Donors really like it when they can maximize the impact of their donations.
  • Employee Programs – Do you have any existing relationships with businesses that donate to your organization via payroll deduction? Consider expanding this connection to see how organizations and staff may improve their contributions. You can do this by sending some information about your new monthly giving campaign to these businesses and asking them to let their staff know. You may also be able to get the employers themselves to donate, potentially increasing both the frequency and size of their gift.

Use these 5 tips to boost your monthly giving program. Just be sure to test along the way.

P.S. CanadaHelps is running a monthly giving promotion this March to help boost your monthly giving program! Learn more>>

Philip Manzano is a Senior Client Marketing Manager at CanadaHelps, a leader in providing powerful fundraising and donation technology to charities and donors since 2000. Philip has been working closely with charities and small nonprofit teams to adopt nonprofit technology for the last nine years.

Teaser Photo by Eden Constantino on Unsplash

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